Plato, Apology, Euthyphro, Crito, Phaedo
[Euthyphro, Crito]
last days, trial, death

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The last days of Socrates


Plato - The Euthyphro


  In his Apology Plato relates the trial and sentencing of Socrates - The sentence being that of death by imbibing a fatal poison.

  In most circumstances Socrates would have been obliged to submit to execution by drinking the deadly poison Hemlock within twenty four hours of his sentence. It happened however that executions were traditionally suspended whilst a certain sacred ship made an annual voyage to the Island of Delos. This ship was presently on the seas and this allowed a certain stay of execution.
    Plato continues his relation of the last days of Socrates by presenting him in the days immediately following the trial in his "The Euthyphro". In the Euthyphro the reader is presented with an example of the Socratic method of enquiry.
  The Euthyphro opens with both Socrates and Euthyphro being present at the door of a King Archon prior to the presentation of law suits.
  Socrates' case arises from his being accused by one Meletus, (who is described as having a beak, long straight hair, and an ill grown beard), of corruption of the young.
  Euthyphro's case arises out of Euthyphro having accused his father of the murder of a servant.
  Euthyphro's case gives rise to a long discussion about the nature of Piety and Impiety. Socrates seems to hope that Euthyphro can shed some light of the nature of Piety and Impiety which could be of the greatest use in his trial against Meletus.
  In the event the Socratic dialogue shows the extreme difficulty of achieving a satisfactory definition of Piety and Impiety.
  The Euthyphro does not shed much light on Socrates' character or philosophy but does show how relentless questionings such as Socrates cultivated in a search for the good and the true could well have an unsettling effect on persons who thought that they had a grasp on such things as what Piety or Impiety might be. 
 
 

Plato - The Crito


  Plato's relation of the last days of Socrates continues in the Crito which deals with the imminent arrival of the sacred ship back from its voyage to Delos.
  Crito visits Socrates in prison and finds him apparently untroubled by the prospect of his imminent demise. Socrates tells Crito of a dream in which a fair and comely woman clothed in white had advised that he, Socrates, had but three days of this life remaining before "to Phthia shalt thou go"

  Although Socrates' friends offer him a sure escape to Thessaly Socrates insists that he cannot return evil for evil. He has a duty to respect the due process of the Law in the city that had nurtured him.
 
    The final episode in Socrates life is related in the Phaedro. Further details can be accessed by following this link:-


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Socrates trial, last days, and death


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